Harry Kane (£12.5m) led another contingent of returning World Cup players to make unexpected appearances in Gameweek 1.
As the Fantasy community reacts to his inclusion in Spurs’ win over Newcastle, we’ve had a look at today’s lunch-time match in detail.
NEWCASTLE 1-2 TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR
- Goals: Joselu (£5.0m) | Jan Vertonghen (£6.0m), Dele Alli (£9.0m)
- Assists: Matt Ritchie (£6.0m) | Davinson Sánchez (£6.0m), Serge Aurier (£6.0m)
Manager Mauricio Pochettino has revealed that his side will be rather unsettled in coming matches, much to the worry of any Fantasy managers holding Spurs assets.
“I think it was very good competition today with a big squad. Massive competition between them and I’m going to rotate in the next few weeks, trying to give the possibility to all the players to play and be important.” – Mauricio Pochettino
Harry Kane’s (£12.5m) wait for a Premier League goal in August continued, even after he made a surprise return to competitive action for Spurs at Newcastle. The England international only came back to training on Monday, which had meant he was a doubt for Gameweek 1 involvement, but he was named in the starting line-up.
That was of particular delight initially to the 36.1 percent of managers who had signed him for their squads in spite of the initial uncertainty over his status. Meanwhile, it caused some worry among managers who had not factored Kane into their plans. However, Kane’s involvement proved to have little impact, as he failed to score and was yellow-carded too.
But Kane’s first appearance of 2018/19 is still likely to cause a stir in the FPL world as managers will have to decide whether he is worth making major changes or for, or if it is best to wait it out until September. He faces Fulham next, who were undone by Crystal Palace in their opening fixture, before trips to Man United and Watford come next.
Jan Vertonghen (£6.0m) was another returning face, which proved to be good news for the 9.2 percent of managers who had chosen Ben Davies (£6.0m) in their squads. It meant that both centre-back slots were filled, with Sanchez involved too, allowing the Welshman to play in his more natural position of left-back. While he did not contribute to attacking returns in the match, his owners can at least be encouraged by the fact that his position on the pitch won’t be as restricted as previously thought.
Dele Alli (£9.0m) was another unexpected starter for Spurs and immediately put himself in the conversation for the Gameweek 2 transfer market. The England international came into this opening weekend in just under four percent of squads but his goal against Newcastle gives him some appeal ahead of next week’s meeting with Fulham. With Kane perhaps too expensive to pull in before deploying a Wildcard, and possibly goalless in August again, Alli could be the way to go if a Spurs attacker is needed. Furthermore, Christian Eriksen (£9.5m) created more chances than any other midfielder either in this match or in the later 3pm kick-offs.
Kieran Trippier (£6.0m), the most popular defender in FPL with 26.3 percent ownership, was not involved in the fixture and neither was Danny Rose (£6.0m). That was a result of Pochettino allowing the two players extra time to recover from their World Cup exploits this summer.
Eric Dier (£5.0m) and Lucas Moura (£7.0m) limped off in the closing stages of the match but Pochettino has played down any fears of injuries.
“No, no they are ok. I hope that Monday they will start to train with the team. Eric Dier was so tired. He felt in the end cramp, but Lucas nothing.” – Mauricio Pochettino
As for the Magpies, Matt Ritchie (£6.0m) delivered on his creative potential at the first time of asking. We had picked Ritchie out as Newcastle’s top assister for 2018/19 in pre-season, and he was the one who provided one for Joselu (£5.0m) to equalise in the first-half. The Scottish midfielder also resumed his duties as Newcastle’s corner taker.
At one stage last season, there was plenty expected from Joselu, especially after the first 10 Gameweeks. Only Kane, Romelu Lukaku (£11.0m), Sergio Aguero (£11.0m) and Alvaro Morata (£9.0m) had more shots than him in that period. He struggled to deliver though, only scoring twice in that spell, with a very poor conversion rate of 8.3 percent. The budget forward suggested he could improve on that this season as he buried one of his two chances today and secured a bonus point too. However, with Newcastle’s fixtures remaining really tough over the next four weeks, and the fact that Salomon Rondon (£6.0m) looks set to take his starting place, neither Joselu or Ritchie are worth considering.
There were discouraging signs for DeAndre Yedlin (£4.5m) who left the stadium on crutches after the match. Rafael Benitez revealed that further assessment was required, opening the door for Javier Manquillo (£4.5m) to come in for him in Gameweek 2.
“It is still too soon to know for sure. There is a problem with his knee, but we need to wait. The doctor has to assess him properly.” – Rafa Benitez
NEWCASTLE UNITED XI (4-4-2): Dubravka; Dummett, Clark, Lascelles, Yedlin; Kenedy, Shelvey, Diamé, Ritchie (Atsu 67’); Joselu (Rondon 57’), Pérez (Mutō 80’).
TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR XI (4-2-3-1): Lloris; Davies, Vertonghen, Sánchez, Aurier; Sissoko, Dier (Amos 88’); Moura (Dembele 67’), Eriksen, Alli (Son 80’); Kane.
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